Let's Start with Some Background
David N. Sachs Photography finally has a Facebook Page, and promoting it has made me seriously question why it took so many months to build in the first place! I delayed for a couple reasons in particular: I was concerned a small number of followers would deter potential clients from taking me seriously, and I myself tend to ignore Facebook Ads and invitations to like strangers’ pages--yes, I’m one of those people who accepts friend requests blindly and from anyone, not wanting to stiff any recent acquaintances while at the same time building a jaded barrier between myself and hundreds of page and event invitations. This post is not about spamming, but instead is about how to use Facebook to effectively and organically market your content (and if you are spamming Facebook...I honestly don’t care; you’re being ignored and making organic posts like mine stand out all the more).
Obviously my concern over a small number of followers was unfounded--everyone has to start from somewhere, and you should never apologize for stepping up and saying, “Hi! I’m new to the scene and I want to show why I deserve your business.”
I want to explore this idea of my ignoring Facebook Ads and those pesky invitations to like Pages built by virtual strangers I haven’t spoken to in years. But first, let’s dive into Facebook itself, and why I believe it’s the best social media option for professional photographers.
Content is King
Photographers create, build and provide a natural repository of content. Facebook almost feels as if it were built specifically for photographers. Its central concept is content marketing: photographers load a photo and tag not only the clients and/or models in the photo, but the makeup artist, designer or other vendors in and around the image as well. That’s a powerful tool many photographers underutilize. Not only do your friends, fans and followers see that photo, but so do the friends, fans and followers of everyone you’ve tagged. Your brand spreads farther than your known market, and your work has a viral potential that’s simply unmatched in other social media platforms.
For example, I find a lot of photographers rely on Instagram as their primary outlet, and on the outside it makes sense: unlike Facebook, Instagram is built exclusively around the photo. However, tagging people in your images only notifies them specifically, not their followers, thus limiting the potential for your image to spread.
Furthermore, if you’re willing to learn, you can use the tools Facebook provides to access new clients in your target market. Now, as I said before, I as a consumer tend to ignore Facebook Ads and random page invitations, so how can Facebook be utilized to address other disenfranchised users? The simple truth is that you have to be okay with allocating some of your marketing budget to Facebook.
Marketing Dollars & Facebook
The organic aspects of page and post views are so hit or miss that they’re essentially irrelevant. When posts become organically stable is purely a guessing game, but when you start looking at Facebook as an advertising platform, budget allocation suddenly makes much more sense.
After you’ve changed your mindset, Facebook has a lot more value: it’s easily the cheapest place to advertise and get your content in front of people. Remember that content is the key difference between Facebook and something like Google Adsense. The majority of photographers won’t even need to take out traditional ads on Facebook; It’s all about getting your content (not your ad) in front of your target market. Just as important is, of course, knowing your target market, that weird niche, that tangible thing all your clients share in common.
The great thing about boosting a post, in fact, is how specifically you can target your audience. If you’re a Bay Area photographer targeting anyone and everyone around the world, you’re not going to have much (if any) success. It’s all about narrowing your scope to specifically find the clients who want to find you! Too many photographers overlook this strategy, and will just blindly hit Boost using the automatic settings. It’s a tool to be used, and learning to customize it is just as important as learning your camera.
A Page for Your Clients
For example, I work with a lot of actors and models here in the Bay Area, so my target segments tend to cover interests such as “headshots”, “acting”, “theatre”, “fashion modeling”, and “San Francisco fashion”, among others. If I just left the segments on automatic, Facebook targets interests more along the lines of “photography” or “photographer”, using an algorithm that’s figured out what my Page is about, rather than who it’s for.
While we’re talking about interests, let’s discuss what makes you interesting (see what I did there? No? Move along…). As I said above, I work with a lot of Bay Area actors and models, so as I come across casting calls I think are interesting, I’ll share them on my Page. “Wait David, you’re saying you promote work opportunities other than your own?!” Yes, and calm down. Precisely by offering multiple reasons to follow and pay attention to my page, I increase its value and make it something my clients will actively seek out. Furthermore, I’m sure to tag clients I believe will be interested in the casting, well aware of the fact that when they comment, like or share the post, it goes out to all their friends, fans and followers.
How do you use your Facebook Page? Share your insight by commenting below!